A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 764 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04.
some said that he had been found at a church door[1].  These men, being among the richest of the colonists of Panama, proposed to themselves to enrich and aggrandize themselves by means of discovering new countries, and to do important service to the emperor, Don Carlos V. by extending his dominions.  Having received permission from Pedro Arias de Avila[2], who then governed that country, Francisco Pizarro fitted out a vessel with considerable difficulty, in which he embarked with 114 men.  About fifty leagues from Panama, he discovered a small and poor district, named Peru, from which that name has been since improperly extended to all the country afterwards discovered along that coast to the south for more than 1200 leagues.  Beyond that Peru, he discovered another district, to which the Spaniards gave the name of El Pueblo quemado, or the Burnt People.  The Indians of that country made war upon him with so much obstinacy, and killed so many of his men, that he was constrained to retreat to Chinchama or Chuchama, not far from Panama.

In the mean time, Almagro fitted out another vessel at Panama, in which he embarked with 70 men, and went along the coast in search of Pizarro as far as the river San Juan, a hundred leagues from Panama.  Not finding him there, Almagro returned along the coast to the Pueblo quemado, where, from certain indications of Pizarro having been there, he landed with his men.  The Indians, puffed up with the remembrance of the victory they had gained over Pizarro, attacked Almagro with great courage, and did him considerable injury; and one day they even penetrated the entrenchment he had thrown up for defence, through some negligence in the guards, and put the Spaniards to flight, who were forced to retreat with loss to their vessel and put to sea, on which occasion Almagro lost an eye.  Following the shore on the way back towards Panama, Almagro found Pizarro at Chinchama[3].  Pizarro was much pleased by the junction of Almagro, as by means of his men, and some additional soldiers they procured in Chinchama, they had now a force of two hundred Spaniards.  They accordingly recommenced the expedition, endeavouring to sail down the coast to the southwards in two vessels and three large canoes.  In this navigation they suffered great fatigue from contrary winds and currents, and were much incommoded when they attempted to land in any of the numerous small rivers which fall into the South Sea, as they all swarmed at their mouths with large lizards, or alligators, called caymans by the natives.  These animals, are ordinarily from twenty to twenty-five feet long, and kill either men or beasts when in the water.  They come out of the water to lay their eggs, which they bury in great numbers in the sand, leaving them to be hatched by the heat of the sun.  These caymans have a strong resemblance to the crocodiles of the river Nile.  The Spaniards suffered much from hunger in this voyage, as they could find nothing

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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